Nicholas Quirke was always at his happiest when called on to be spontaneous and when Debbie Bridge phoned him on 22nd September at 18.00 to step into the shoes of a colleague who was a last minute drop out he rose to the challenge. It made a fitting end to a full week which had started with him driving to Chislehurst to collect his client and meeting the gorgeous Lola as well as stopping off at Hartfield, Pooh Corner,  for refreshment. He worked every morning, had a meeting about the ShowShoppers Project which he had now launched on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/shownshop/?modal=admin_todo_tour, cooked and entertained for Aaron Schwartz, cooked and entertained Harvey and Grace and an excitable Rocco, Drove to Almedia in London to see Dance Nation which was a really compelling, surprising piece of theatre and by coincidence Harvey and Grace were in Camden at a gig and he was able to have company on his drive home.  It was an intense and valuable meeting of the Men’s group with more food for thought to sustain him through the week. By Friday he was exhausted and once home from his work, he lay on the bed and drifted into inertia and sleep. Refreshed on Saturday he met with Cathie in Nero’s and then headed home to work.He did some gardening before the rain drove him indoors. Food preparation and tidying kept him from the work he felt he really should be doing and just as he felt he could procrastinate no further, Debbie’s call to join her as an actor in a Murder Mystery event within the hour encouraged him to further delay the pressing needs that were overwhelming him. The promise of money and a chance to flex his performance skills had him flying out the door. He did his best to assemble a nautical look and then spent the evening  amongst strangers as Captain Bob Upandown. He had great fun, was treated to a cordon blu vegan supper and earned money too. This could be a new avenue for him to explore. Once home he examined the Shelf of Shame for his next post and retired to bed.

 

 

 

 

Nicholas Quirke was looking forward to meeting his friend Sonia on 13th September for the first time since he had returned from the odyssey despite several attempts to reconvene. He first had to negotiate Fire Alarm tests and further discussion about preventing the vandals from further sabotage at home with the Freeholders.  He was delighted to have a surreal and hilarious conversation with his friend Alan from Fatherland in which his acting style was likened to a variety of decorating techniques. As a result of his delays he was running late and had to drive to 1 John Street. They decided to drive down to the seafront and take a constitutional. It was a lovely sunny day, a trifle windy,  and he was astonished to discover a mini sculpture park had been built around a small boat house. They tried to engage the artist, a wild looking, windswept man, in conversation to learn more about the endeavor. The artist was reluctant to talk but did share that he had been building it for about 5 years and wanted to stop. He didn’t want to share why or what he felt the purpose was so they carried on and Nicholas became quite enamored with the rusting debris which seemed to litter the seafront.  It had been good to catch up and laugh and laugh and laugh. After saying goodbye to Sonia he worked for a couple of hours then went home.He felt quite tired and decided to watch another fil on MUBI. as they were still screening a couple of Lou Ye’s films he decided to watch Blind Massage and once again he was overwhelmed by the story and its visual style which echoed its subject matter. The films verisimilitude created a sense of aching loneliness in him, much as Spring Feaver had and he was reluctant to end his day on this note so turned to TV, Hang Ups and Flowers to cheer himself up before he allowed sleep to overwhelm him instead

 

 

 

 

Nicholas Quirke was waking to the feeling that he had severed a limb on 13th September after reading some messages he had received and was regretting his rash actions of the previous day. He did not have the time to wallow in self pity though and the need to post his shelf of shame daily picture on Instagram offered a more pressing need and he was delighted by the swift and positive response he received. He noted that one admirer of his Players cigarette tin, in which he had carried around loose change, much of it he had found on the street, which had been with him since a teenager went on to like every picture in the collection he had posted so far. His work day started at 8.30 and he cursed the school traffic that was once again clogging up the roads. He was driving his client to her sisters in Chiselhurst and had planned a route through the countryside designed to avoid the M23 an M25. After a false start, having forgotten the I pad they enjoyed the scenery of the South Downs and Ashdown Forrest on a glorious summer day, They stopped off  for refreshment in the Anchor Inn  in the village of Hartfield, the home of A A Milne and arrived in Chiselhurst in time for lunch. Nicholas headed straight back as his old friend Michael Hootman was coming to see him. They had not met properly for years so there was a lot of catching up to do and he was delighted to be able to share an old video they had made which was truly appalling but very funny. This mood of hysteria turned very serious though when he attended his Men’s Therapy Group. He was anxious to share the unnerving events of his week and as he related the tale of his desecrated plant and delved into his personal issues he was struck by the gardening imagery that he was bringing to bear on both situations and the idea for a story was germinated. They finished the evening with sound bath and he was once again transported to a realm outside himself. It was a great end to the evening and filled him with energy. Once home he took up his pen, opened a notebook and put his ideas down on paper, thus beginning another project. Before going to sleep, he chatted with his friend Terry in Denver and finished his day on a happy note.

Nicholas Quirke was awake before the sun was up on 12th September and the realisation that autumn was drawing in, the days getting shorter was strangely comforting. Though he was not working he was still out early and meeting Terry for a tea. They went to the Garden Centre as Nicholas halfheartedly wanted to look and see if he could replace his savaged plant but there was nothing to inspire him and he drove Terry to his meeting and went home. Kate and Megan arrived and they had a few rounds of Casino, which he was delighted to win. It was lunch at the Marina with Harvey, Cole, Lily and Mother and they went to Bella Italia. This was not a good move. The service was absolutely appalling with them waiting ages to be served and when their lunch after a 60 minute wait was finally served, the main the ingredients of the Insalata Verde, he and Kate had ordered were not there, no avocado, peas or beans. Nicholas was not happy and when he questioned the quality of the food, the waiter/manager was unapologetic and took their bowls away to get the correct serving while Megan still had to wait for her food to arrive, the chips were cold and in short the Customer Service a disaster.  The company was wonderful and the pleasure of being with his family overrode his annoyance.  As they left he excitedly spotted a cormorant in the Marina. He arrived at home, with 5 minutes to spare before Penny arrived to record their next Podcast. As ever they had a lot of fun and both had stories to share that made them laugh. Nicholas took the bold step of stopping one of his projects that had begun to frustrate him and though he felt a certain amount of relief, he also felt sad that he could not see it through.  He was oddly tired by the day and went to bed early

Nicholas Quirke was finding it impossible to not think about the damage that had been done when he woke on the morning of 10th September. It didn’t help to have a conversation with an unsympathetic friend. He really wanted to focus on the positive and enjoy life but these niggling episodes were getting him down. The good news was he had a fun day ahead and once he was focused on some work he was able to forget these irritants. As he drove to deliver Cole’s cast offs to a charity shop, some shopping  and collect a parcel, he spotted one of Beaconsfield Villas familiar sights. He walked into town to meet with Audrey. They caught up on the politics of American Express, on the world of Quirke and  as ever, Audrey’s laugh attracted the attention of everyone around them. Despite the sunshine he was determined to lose himself in a movie, though he  had some time to kill before going to the Duke of York’s and decided to have a tea in the Rotunda. First he encountered Stuart from Amex Concierge and they had a long chat about blogging and then Eileen and her house sitter, Nelly, were at the cafe and intercepted him, so he never got to have his tea. American Animals was an unusual take on a heist movie. It was a dramatised account of  a true story and it possessed some neat stylistic tricks, one of which was introducing a documentary aspect which kept taking you outside the the story,. This reminded Nicholas of his own efforts to make a pseudo documentary about a serial Killer in the late 80’s ‘Frank Cowley’, and recent thoughts to use the footage he had taken and to finish it now; an idea fostered by Philip Reeve when Nicholas was in Dartmoor. He was looking at an evening at home so after some shopping and preparing some dinner he thought it best to burn some incense, relax and forget all the troubles that had recently beset him.